Wed, Aug 31, 2022
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Box Elder is a P1K that lies between Mt. Timpanogos (P5K) and Twin Peaks (P3K) in the Wasatch Range east of Salt Lake City. It hadn't even been on my radar until the previous evening when I was in Heber City looking for something to do the next day. There were several trip reports that included a few bonus peaks south of Box Elder in a roughly 10mi loop that caught my attention. All three were located in the Lone Peak Wilderness, though my route would not take in the Wilderness HP. The outing would give me an opportunity to explore the American Fork north of Mt. Timpanogos, which I had climbed two weeks earlier.
The Box Elder Trail below on the west side eventually reaches to the saddle between Peak 10,626ft and Peak 10,057ft, before descending back down the north side. This would be my return route to the TH. I continued SE on the ridge descending from Peak 10,626ft, hoping to take it all the way to the saddle and the trail. There are some steep cliffs encountered around the 10,000-foot level, forcing me off the south side and down to the trail about a quarter mile before the saddle. At the saddle, I left the trail to pay a quick visit to Peak 10,057ft, taking about 10min to climb the 357ft of gain to the summit. Unlike the previous unforested peaks with open views, much of Peak 10,057ft is covered in trees. Still, there are good views looking east across the American Fork drainage and south to Mt. Timanogos. Figuring this was the least-visited of the three peaks, I left a register here, thinking it might last more than a few weeks or months. After returning back down the west side to the trail, I spent the next hour and a half completing the loop down the Box Elder Trail. It is a more scenic trail than the Deer Creek one, with nice views of the peaks, travel through aspen and conifer forests, past an old cabin and several trail junctions before returning to civilization. It was after 2p by the time I found my way to the Jeep, with plenty of daylight remaining.
On the way back, I continued northwest from the saddle I had ascended to, and was happy to find a good use trail descending to a lower, second saddle further to the northwest in the vicinity of the defunct Silver Bell Mine. I then found an old trail descending the south side of the saddle that would return me to the 4x4 Mary Ellen Gulch OHV road. It was After 5pm before I finished up back at the Jeep. It was still quite warm, but the sun would be setting behind the high crest within about 45min. I took a jug shower and made dinner, then settled in for a well-earned rest. I had plans to climb up to Twin Peaks and a collection of other summits in the Snowbird Ski Area.
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Box Elder Peak - Peak 10,626ft
This page last updated: Tue Nov 22 08:44:19 2022
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